Replacing a car key is not something that most car owners think about until they find themselves in a situation where they need a new one. Whether you lost your key or it got damaged, replacing it can be quite expensive. Dealerships are known for charging a premium for key replacement services, and many car owners are unaware of the cheaper alternatives available to them.
So, how much does it really cost to replace a car key? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. The cost varies depending on several factors, including the type of key, the make and model of the car, and where you get the replacement key made. In this article, we will reveal the shocking truth about how much it really costs to replace a car key and why dealerships charge so much for their services.
But don’t worry, we will also share some tips on how you can save money when replacing your car key and what to do if you lose your key and don’t have a spare. By the end of this article, you will be equipped with all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about replacing your car key.
Are you ready to learn the truth about car key replacement costs and how to avoid getting scammed? Keep reading to find out!
Are You Overpaying For Car Key Replacement?
Car key replacement is one of those expenses that drivers never see coming. Whether you’ve lost your keys or they’ve been damaged, the cost of a replacement can be shocking. But how much should you really be paying? Dealerships may want you to think that their high prices are the only option, but the truth is, there are more affordable alternatives out there. Don’t let car key replacement break the bank. Read on to find out how you can save money and avoid overpaying for a new set of keys.
Dealership Vs. Locksmith: What’s The Difference?
Dealership: Dealerships are the first place that many drivers think of when they need a car key replacement. They’re often seen as the most reliable option, but that reputation comes with a price. Dealerships charge a premium for their services, which means you could end up paying hundreds of dollars for a new key.
Locksmith: Locksmiths offer an affordable alternative to dealerships. They’re often faster and more convenient, too. Plus, many locksmiths can make keys for a wider range of vehicles than dealerships can. But not all locksmiths are created equal. Make sure you choose a reputable locksmith who uses high-quality parts and has the right equipment to make your key.
What Affects The Cost Of Car Key Replacement?
- Type of key: The type of key you need will affect the cost. Basic keys are cheaper than high-tech smart keys.
- Vehicle make and model: Some vehicles are more difficult to make keys for than others. Luxury or foreign vehicles may require more time and effort to make a new key, which can increase the cost.
- Location: The cost of car key replacement can vary depending on where you live. Prices may be higher in cities or areas with a higher cost of living.
How To Save Money On Car Key Replacement
Here are a few tips to help you save money on car key replacement:
- Get a quote: Before you commit to a particular provider, get a quote from several different places. This will give you an idea of what the going rate is and help you find the best deal.
- Choose a reputable provider: Whether you go with a dealership or a locksmith, make sure you choose a provider with a good reputation. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from friends and family.
- Consider a spare key: If you’ve lost your keys, it’s a good idea to get a spare made while you’re at it. This will save you money in the long run if you ever lose your keys again.
Don’t let car key replacement be a source of stress and financial burden. By understanding your options and being smart about your choices, you can save money and get back on the road with a new set of keys in no time.
Why Dealerships Charge So Much To Replace Car Keys?
If you’ve ever lost your car keys or had them stolen, you know that replacing them can be a costly and time-consuming process. One of the most common places people turn to for key replacement is their dealership, but have you ever wondered why dealerships charge so much for this service?
There are a few reasons why dealerships charge high prices for car key replacement. First, they often use proprietary technology that requires specialized equipment and training to use. This means that only authorized dealerships can replace certain keys, and they can charge whatever price they want for the service.
The Cost of Proprietary Technology
- Dealerships often use proprietary technology for key replacement
- This technology requires specialized equipment and training
- Only authorized dealerships can replace certain keys
Another reason dealerships charge so much for key replacement is that they often have to order the replacement key from the manufacturer. This can take time and add to the cost of the replacement. Additionally, dealerships have high overhead costs such as rent, utilities, and salaries, which they need to factor into the price of their services.
The Cost of Ordering and Overhead Expenses
- Dealerships often have to order replacement keys from the manufacturer
- This can add to the cost and time it takes to replace the key
- Dealerships have high overhead costs, including rent, utilities, and salaries, which they need to factor into the price of their services
So, what can you do to avoid overpaying for car key replacement? One option is to look for a local locksmith who specializes in car key replacement. These professionals often have the same equipment and training as dealerships but can offer lower prices because they have lower overhead costs. Another option is to consider purchasing a spare key when you first buy your car, so you have a backup in case you lose your keys in the future.
Alternatives to Dealerships for Key Replacement
- Look for a local locksmith who specializes in car key replacement
- Consider purchasing a spare key when you first buy your car
- Compare prices and services before choosing a key replacement provider
Now that you know why dealerships charge so much for car key replacement, you can make an informed decision about where to go for this service. By exploring all your options, you can find a provider who offers quality service at a fair price.
The Cheaper Alternative To Dealership Car Key Replacement
Replacing a lost or damaged car key can be a major inconvenience and expense, especially when relying on a dealership. Fortunately, there are alternative options that can save you time and money.
Here are two cheaper alternatives to dealership car key replacement:
Mobile Automotive Locksmiths
A mobile automotive locksmith is a licensed professional who specializes in car key replacement and other auto locksmith services. They have the necessary skills and equipment to create and program new keys on the spot, often at a much lower cost than a dealership.
Online Key Replacement Services
Another option is to use an online key replacement service. These services allow you to order a new key by providing your car’s make, model, and VIN number. The key is then shipped to you, and you can have it programmed by a local locksmith or dealership.
Considerations When Choosing An Alternative
- Check the credentials and reviews of the locksmith or online service before using their services.
- Make sure they are licensed and insured.
- Compare prices and services to ensure you are getting a fair deal.
Don’t let dealership prices for car key replacement leave you feeling stranded. Consider these cheaper alternatives for a convenient and affordable solution.
What To Do If You Lose Your Car Keys And Don’t Have A Spare?
It’s a common scenario that can happen to anyone: you lose your car keys, and you don’t have a spare. This can be a stressful situation, but there are steps you can take to solve the problem.
The first thing to do is to try and retrace your steps. If you’re lucky, you may have dropped your keys somewhere along the way. Check your pockets, your bag, and the area where you parked your car. If you still can’t find them, it’s time to take action.
Contact A Locksmith
If you’ve lost your car keys and don’t have a spare, the best thing to do is to contact a locksmith. They have the skills and tools to create a new key for your car on the spot. The process may take some time, and it can be expensive, but it’s a reliable solution. Look for a locksmith who specializes in car key replacement and has experience with your car’s make and model.
Contact Your Car Dealership
If you can’t find a local locksmith, or if you prefer to go to the dealership, contact your car dealership. They can create a new key for your car, but keep in mind that this option can be more expensive than going to a locksmith. Additionally, you may need to provide proof of ownership and identification to have the key made.
Consider A Key Replacement Service
If you’re looking for a more convenient and cost-effective option, consider a key replacement service like KeyMe or The Keyless Shop. These services allow you to create a digital copy of your key using a smartphone app and then have a physical key mailed to you. This option can be less expensive than going to a dealership or locksmith, but keep in mind that not all car keys can be replicated using these services.
- If you’re locked out of your car, call a locksmith or a roadside assistance service like AAA.
- Keep a spare key in a safe place, such as a hidden magnetic box or with a trusted family member or friend.
Remember that losing your car keys is an inconvenience, but it’s not the end of the world. By following these steps, you can get a replacement key and be back on the road in no time.
How To Avoid Getting Scammed When Replacing Your Car Key?
Getting your car keys replaced can be a stressful and expensive process. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who take advantage of this by offering fake or subpar services. To ensure that you don’t fall victim to these scams, follow these tips:
First, research the company you plan to use to replace your car key. Look for reviews online and ask for recommendations from friends and family. This will help you determine if the company has a good reputation and if they are trustworthy.
- Ask the company for their business license and identification to ensure they are a legitimate business.
- Ask for an estimate of the cost of the service upfront.
- Ask for a written contract or receipt to ensure that you are getting what you paid for.
Avoid Low Prices
While it may be tempting to go for the lowest price, be wary of prices that are too good to be true. Scammers often offer low prices to lure in customers and then charge hidden fees or provide subpar services.
Trust Your Instincts
If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and look for another company to replace your car key. Scammers often use high-pressure tactics or make promises that are too good to be true. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
By following these tips, you can avoid getting scammed when replacing your car key and ensure that you get a quality and reliable service.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to replace a car key?
The cost of replacing a car key can vary depending on several factors such as the car model, the type of key, and the locksmith you choose. A basic car key can cost as low as $20 while a keyless entry remote can cost up to $250. It’s important to get quotes from several locksmiths to compare prices and avoid being overcharged.
Can I get a replacement key from a dealership?
Yes, you can get a replacement key from a dealership but it may cost you more than getting it from a locksmith. Dealerships may charge up to $400 for a replacement key. It’s recommended to check with your car manufacturer to see if they have any authorized locksmiths in your area who can replace your key.
Can I replace a car key myself?
It’s possible to replace a car key yourself if you have the necessary tools and expertise. However, it’s not recommended as it can be time-consuming and you may end up damaging your car’s ignition system. It’s best to leave it to a professional locksmith who can replace your key safely and efficiently.
How long does it take to replace a car key?
The time it takes to replace a car key can vary depending on the complexity of the key and the locksmith’s experience. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to replace a standard car key. However, if you have a keyless entry remote, it may take longer to program the key and can take up to a few hours.
Can I get a replacement key if I don’t have the original key?
Yes, you can get a replacement key even if you don’t have the original key. Locksmiths can create a new key by using the car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) and cutting a new key based on the code. However, this process can be more expensive than replacing a key with the original key.
Will my car warranty cover the cost of replacing a lost key?
Most car warranties don’t cover the cost of replacing a lost key as it’s considered a maintenance issue. However, it’s recommended to check your warranty or contact your car manufacturer to see if they offer any key replacement services or discounts.